Home January 2014 Babkas by Elana

Babkas by Elana

Elana Samson, who has served as rental coordinator at the Merage Jewish Community Center for more than 10 years, related that she grew up “learning how to cook and bake from the women in my family.”  She added that, “Every Shabbat and Jewish Holiday, my mother and grandmother would teach my sister and me the tricks of the trade.  When I got married and had my own children, I carried on this wonderful tradition with my two girls.”
Along the way, Samson came across a recipe for a chocolate babka.  “I wish I could say the first batch was perfection; however, as with most recipes, some tweaking was needed,” she said.  “After a few more tries I was able to get the consistency just right: a crunchy exterior and a soft interior.  I soon started making my babka for family and friends, and quickly acquired the name: The Babka Queen.”
After more than 10 years of sharing her babkas with her community, Samson decided it was time for her to open her kitchen up to everyone.  She launched Babkas by Elana on Facebook a few days before Rosh Hashanah. and was up almost all night before Yom Kippur trying to fulfill all of the orders she had.
The babkas come in chocolate, cinnamon raisin, cinnamon, chocolate halvah and chocolate walnut.  All can be dairy or non-dairy.  There is no whey or preservatives.  While Samson has a kosher kitchen, she said that the babkas are not baked under rabbinical supervision.
In addition to fresh babkas, Samson will provide them frozen.  “Just defrost them, bake them at 335 degrees for 30 minutes and you’re done,” she said.
All of the babkas are $24.99 or two for $40.  Samson added that they make nice hostess gifts.
Samson, who has been involved with Chai Lifeline, Congregation Beth Jacob, Chabad of Irvine and Tarbut V’Torah in addition to working at the JCC, added, “I’m a working wife, mother of three and active community member.  I know how hectic life can be.  So allow me to provide something homey, delicious and decadent for you to enjoy with your family and friends.”
In terms of growing the business, Samson said she “doesn’t know where it’s going to take me.  For now I’m having fun.”
What distinguishes her babkas from any other babkas?  “It’s the love,” she concluded.

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